How do you know your teenage daughter loves you?
When she calls you into the bathroom while she's taking a shower to relate a dream. When this event actually happened, I wrote about it in my journal. At the time, it's significance - not the dream itself, but the fact that she wanted/needed to tell her mother about this most intimate, personal experience - was lost on me. Looking back from my current perspective, I realize that she really did love me then and does love me now, in spite of some intervening crisis' which I have yet to write about.
The dream goes like this; she, her friend Betsy and a boy from school (who looks like Hitler youth) are on the highway on the way to a dance; maybe in a car, or on bikes - not clear which. A gang of punks, black leather clad toughs, start roughing them up, threatening them, asking for drugs. They take Betsy to a railing over a cliff, beat her up. My daughter gets hysterical and pleads with them to stop. They come to her. She has my camera. They want it. Suddenly the camera becomes the most important thing in the dream. She won't give it up. She runs and finds herself in some old ladies back yard. It's summertime, she knocks on the door to be taken in. She's sitting on the woman's sofa, tells her she is being chased. Woman hides her in closet under a bunch of old lady bathrobes. My daughter, now in PJ's, blends in. Bad guy comes to door looking for camera. Old lady has wrapped her in bathrobes, puts glasses on her and lays her on the sofa to pretend they are sisters. Bad people come through the house. My daughter can't stand hiding. She pops up and confronts the bad guy, tells him he can't have her camera. End of dream.
She had another dream on Christmas eve about her former love, Aldo. I tell her to write it down. No, she says she'd rather just tell me about it.
Now that she is an adult I can see elements of her character that were illustrated in her teenage dream. She is intimidated by no one and is fearless in her approach to life. These traits have gotten her both into and out of trouble. She still calls her mom to tell her dreams.